COLLEGE PARK, MD –
A belated Happy Eid of Sacrifice to all our dear readers. I hope it was a joyous time for everyone and a time of reflection on what the holiday signifies.
I find there to be a poignant nexus between sacrifice and the topic of privilege-sharing we discussed last week. Sharing privilege is certainly a sacrifice, but sacrifices don’t entail our ending up with less.
Please humor me as I take the scenic route in describing what I’m thinking.
The sharing economy is on the rise. People are sharing cars, bikes, parking spots, homes, skills, experiences, and more through innumerable mobile applications and innovations.
We can only hope this spirit of sharing extends to the privilege we enjoy. Just as the sharing economy profits those that take part in it, so, too, will partakers in privilege-sharing profit.
The profits of privilege-sharing require both our eyes to be open in order to see them. They can’t be quantified in a bank account, but they can be enjoyed and benefitted from far more than paper or digital currency.
Let’s first examine what the point of sharing privilege is, and is not, to begin with. It is not to be praised or even appreciated, although those are nice.
It is to empower others who can then empower others. Hopefully our privilege-sharing starts a chain reaction whose end result is far greater than ourselves or our imaginations.
In a way, sharing our privilege is less about our relevance and more about our irrelevance.
If enough people are empowered with our privilege we are no longer as important; others can achieve what today we are the only ones capable of achieving.
Only a giver can embrace that.
Most will refuse to share what makes them relevant. Most will feel they are losing what makes them matter.
Givers, however, see, with both eyes open, that empowering others is the Prophetic model, and don’t try to manufacture relevance for themselves.
A giver understands that empowering others is what gives us the most relevance, and what makes us matter most where it matters most.
As the business grows and becomes more complex, there are too many needs for the owner to attend to him or herself.
The business’s success then lies in the owner’s ability to delegate, so he or she can attend to the matters that truly require his or her attention.
The successful owner will be willing to share his or her privilege in understanding how to run a business with others he or she needs to employ to take care of certain tasks.
He or she must take the abundant road and see that sharing that privilege will free his or her time to tackle the areas of the business that truly require his or her expertise. That owner will be more relevant and matter more than ever.
The unsuccessful owner will not be willing to share his or her privilege and keep wasting his or her time feeling, but not actually being, relevant by taking care of every little task that exists.
He or she has chosen the road of suspicion. After all, those he or she shares the privilege of business expertise with can take it and run, leaving the owner with nothing after sharing all the information it took him or her years to accumulate.
Worse, those the privilege was shared with can start their own businesses with the information [privilege] the owner shared and make his or her business irrelevant!
At best, the suspicious owner can maintain his or her small level of profit and relevance on his or her own. Most likely, he or she will slowly retire into oblivion. They may have dollars, but they’ll still be irrelevant to everyone but the bank.
The abundant owner may lose some temporal dollars, sure, but he or she is also much more likely to be part of a thriving unit much bigger than him or herself that he or she is held in esteem by.
Being part of something bigger than ourselves is a pillar of a meaningful life, and it is the profit of sharing our privilege. The abundant owner will have his or her share of those profits.
He or she will probably have more dollars, too.